Upper Mustang Trek

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Upper Mustang Trek Nepal

Unveil the hidden treasures of the Himalayas with our captivating Upper Mustang Trek – an extraordinary journey that transports you to a realm of rugged landscapes, ancient culture, and breathtaking vistas. Upper Mustang Trekking is an adventure tour to the magical land, of Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri area. It is also recognized as the hidden kingdom of Nepal. The closed Buddhist kingdom of Lo, known in current times as Mustang, remains one of the last true fortresses of traditional Tibetan culture, hidden away in its deserted and highly protected barriers on Nepal's northern border.



Location and Terrain Geography

The Upper Mustang Trek is situated in the Mustang region of Nepal, which lies to the north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The geography of the Upper Mustang region is characterized by its striking contrast to typical Himalayan landscapes. The region's landscape is often referred to as a "rain shadow" area, meaning it receives significantly less rainfall due to its location behind the main Himalayan ranges. This gives rise to the distinctive arid terrain that sets Upper Mustang apart from other trekking regions in Nepal.

The landscape follows paths that can vary from sandy deserts to rocky terrain. No specialized gear or skills are required as its simply a trek. Mustang remains untouched preserving its heritage as it was isolated from the rest of Nepal and, beyond until the 1990s yet offers a warm and hospitable atmosphere. The valley is essentially a dried up gorge located in the Himalayan monsoon shadow making it accessible, for most of the year; however it's advisable to avoid visiting during mid winter and instead consider exploring between March and late November.


High passes like the Lo La Pass offer panoramic views, while ancient caves and carved cliffs showcase the region's rich history. Restricted to foreign visitors until 1992, the Upper Mustang's geography remains a well-preserved treasure, offering a trekking experience that's a unique blend of rugged beauty, cultural heritage, and distinct topography within the Himalayan realm.


Upper Mustang Trek Highlights:

· Visit the ancient Kingdom Lo ManthangTrek through a stark desert landscape with spires and cliffs

· Lying in the rain shadow, a great trek to escape the summer monsoon

· An amazing and well-preserved Tibetan culture and tradition

· Spectacular views of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri sub-ranges

· The 10,000 sky caves carved into the cliffs of the region

· Old monasteries built in the 13th century and the valley’s numerous beautiful monasteries, stupas, Chortens, and Mani walls

· Taste the renowned local apples, apple pie, and apple wine (Marpha) in Jomsom.

· Visit Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists 

The dried yet colorful hills disclose the incredible beauty of nature even in the green-less form. Unlike the other treks in Nepal, the journey to Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique glimpse into a regional capital of historic and cultural interest that's as elegant in its desolation as it is alluring to the camera lens. You will be able to see the outstanding views of Mt. Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri, and other beautiful white peaks that excite trekkers throughout the region.

Four noteworthy monasteries, the Gompas of Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen, Chodey, and Chopra, are housed within the lofty whitish walls. Nearby Chhoser is not only home to another great monastery but has seen expressive discoveries of major archaeological importance made in the Sky Caves carved into the cliffs above the village for burial purposes. The cave paintings, bright Buddhist manuscripts, sculptures and various artifacts being found are slowly importing international attention to the region. The people in the naturally detached region of Mustang have definite lifestyles, cultures, and traditions that have continued for centuries. The culture is generally motivated by Tibetan Buddhism following as the place was once a part of ancient Tibet.

The historic monasteries, Chortens enlisted with prayer flags, wheels, and various Buddhist arts, and festivals take us closer to the spiritual ideology that has blossomed beauty and happiness despite such difficulty in the region. There are generally two different Festivals, TIJI and Horse running festivals. Other than basic existence agriculture, the Lopa resider of the valley has traditionally herded yak and in times passed by flourished through trade with Tibet.

Despite the hard conditions, wildlife flourishes in the region, with animals such as musk deer, Tibetan gazelle, and even the legendary snow leopard roaring in the area. The whitewashed houses and the wonderful ethnic hospitality further entice us to explore. The natural mysteries have further adored this destination for trekking and hiking.


Upper Mustang Trek Route

The Upper Mustang Trek presents an immersive journey that unfolds through the heart of Nepal's remote and culturally rich landscape. Embarking on a captivating adventure, your expedition begins with a flight to Jomsom, where you'll step into the enchanting realm of the Upper Mustang region. The trail leads you through a mesmerizing series of destinations, each holding its own allure and significance. Kagbeni, with its ancient architecture and historic ambiance, marks the starting point, setting the tone for the unique experiences that lie ahead.

Ascending to Chele, the landscapes transform as you traverse windswept expanses, terraced fields, and ancient caves that carry tales of bygone eras. The path unfolds further as you reach Syanboche, a place of intriguing rock formations and breathtaking panoramas that seem to bridge the realms of earth and sky. The journey continues to Ghemi, where intricate alleys wind through the village, revealing monasteries and cultural treasures that speak to the region's rich heritage.

Tsarang beckons with its fortress-like monastery, offering not only spiritual insight but also stunning views that extend across the rugged terrain. As you press on, the capital of this unique domain, Lo Manthang, comes into view. Enclosed by its distinctive walls, this historic city stands as a testament to ancient culture and traditions, inviting exploration of its monasteries, palaces, and the ever-present sense of timelessness.

Taking a day to fully experience Lo Manthang allows for an immersion into the very essence of this region. Your journey then retraces its steps, leading you through Drakmar's vivid cliffs, Ghemi's familiar alleys, and Samar's picturesque landscapes. Finally, you revisit Kagbeni, the charming gateway village that welcomed you to the Upper Mustang's embrace

With the final stretch ahead, you return to Jomsom, where your expedition concludes. This remarkable trek remains imprinted in your memory, leaving you with a tapestry of experiences that blend diverse landscapes, ancient marvels, and a profound connection to the cultural treasures that define the Upper Mustang region.


A Day in Lo Manthang: The Forbidden Kingdom

Within the captivating expanse of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang emerges as a living embodiment of history and allure. Encircled by ancient walls that bear the marks of centuries past, Lo Manthang invites you to traverse its narrow alleys, revealing mud-brick houses that stand as witnesses to time's passage. 

The city's distinctive form emerges from the shadows as the light slowly rises over the horizon, displaying its exquisite architecture and historical significance. Start your day with a peaceful stroll through the city's labyrinthine alleys, where every nook and cranny is home to a tale inscribed in worn stones and elaborate carvings. With its three-story structure and historic murals, the Jampa Lhakhang is a symbol of the area's spiritual legacy and artistic prowess.

Venturing further, the Thubchen Gompa awaits with its imposing red assembly hall adorned with intricate frescoes that depict Buddhist teachings and narratives of a bygone era. This spiritual haven invites contemplation and reverence, offering insight into the lives and beliefs of the people who shaped the kingdom's identity. As the day progresses, lose yourself in the city's outer periphery, where the juxtaposition of ancient architecture against the backdrop of the stark Himalayan landscapes creates a truly mesmerizing tableau.

Pause for a moment at the palace of the Mustang King, a living testament to the region's unique history and longstanding monarchy. Immerse yourself in the cultural treasures that fill its walls and corridors, and let the weight of centuries of tradition and heritage envelop you.

Within Lo Manthang, you will discover a collection of ancient caves that hold both historical and cultural weight. These caves, known as "Sky caves" or "Tiger caves," were once utilized as dwellings by monks and local communities. Offering refuge from the elements and doubling as meditation spaces, these caves provide an intimate window into the lifestyles of their past inhabitants. Furthermore, some of these caves have undergone a transformation into cave monasteries, including the renowned Jhong Cave Monastery. 

Once the heart of the Kingdom of Lo, the city retains its resonance with tradition and heritage. Its regal palace, adorned with intricate murals portraying mythology, history, and daily life, whispers tales of bygone eras as you step through its chambers.


Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

Day 1-3: Kathmandu to Jomsom:

Day 3-5: Jomsom to Kagbeni to Chele:

Day 6-7: Chele to Syanboche to Ghemi:

Day 8-9: Ghemi to Tsarang to Lo Manthang:

Day 10: Exploration in Lo Manthang:

Day 11-12: Lo Manthang to Drakmar to Ghiling:

Day 13-14: Ghiling to chhusang to Muktinath:

Day 15-16: Muktinath to Jomsom to Pokhara:

Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu:


Upper Mustang Trek Distance

The route described is 100 kilometers long. The journey progresses at a pace providing opportunities, for acclimatization. One of the highlights of this trek is that it doesn't involve ascending to altitudes. Typically the trekking days last, for 6 to 7 hours. Usually concludes by mid-afternoon.



Alternative treks in the Mustang region

Other than the conventional Upper Mustang trek you also have the option to trek following trails:


Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek

Lo Manthang Damodar Kunda Muktinath Trekking


There is also an option for exploring the Mustang region on an adventurous biking expedition. This will be a unique journey that will be attached to your memory.

Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour

Itinerary

Flying to Kathmandu is in itself an exciting and beautiful experience. On a clear day, you will get panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains. Upon your arrival in Nepal, the land of the Himalayas, you will be greeted by a representative from Bold Himalaya, who will pick you up from the Tribhuwan International Airport. Then, our member will accompany you and escort you to your hotel.


Then, you can either take a rest or explore the busy Kathmandu. For the day, you can roam around beautiful Thamel and find yourself some typical local products to shop for and get a close look at the bustling urban life. You can also visit a variety of restaurants and cafés offering both Western and Nepali cuisine.

Today, we will explore the city as well as prepare for our adventurous trek. We will visit the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. They are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swyambhunath), and the Buddhist Stupa (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world.


The city's life is vibrant as the culture and heritage reflect their ethnic identity. Later, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader, guide, and other team members. We will provide a brief detail regarding the trek and you will get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the upcoming adventure. We will prepare the permit on this day as well as make all the preparation necessary for this trip. You can also go for last-minute shopping for your trek. You will find every branded trekking gear at Thamel. 

After taking a 20-minute flight to Pokhara, we will spend the rest of the day in the city exploring and relaxing. If you haven’t yet, go boating in the fascinating Phewa, Rupa, and Begnas Lakes, visit the beautiful hilltop monastery, or the mystical caves, we will explore each of them. We will have the chance to buy some souvenirs and enjoy the nightlife in a cheerful city.

After having our breakfast, we will move towards the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom. It is a super scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains with the magnificent views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri that awaits us on this incredible journey through the long-hidden kingdom of Mustang, which takes us to Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang.


This is a huge town, the headquarters of the Mustang region. It is also the main village in the Kaligandaki area associated with the age-old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards, it is stormy in the afternoon. We will continue on the steady path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hours and finally reach Ekley-Bhatti village.


After a short stop and an hour of easy walking, we will reach Kagbeni, which lies on the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an amusing windswept village situated on the main age-old Trans-Himalayan salt trade trail to Tibet via the Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a main tributary, Kak Khola, flowing from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and the river is called the Kali Gandaki. We will wander the village and explore the temples and monasteries. Overnight in Kagbeni.

From here, the Upper Mustang Trek begins. After completing the permit formalities, we will enter the restricted area of the Upper Mustang. As said to be the desert of Nepal, the valley broadens with barren surroundings with green villages in the middle that appears more like a simply unbelievable fantasy.
Walking on the elongated trail with Kagbeni and Nilgiri Mountain at the backdrop is splendid. We will witness different parts of the world, including the land of Ammonites (prehistoric stone) with striking views.


The stretch of the Kali Gandaki river bed gives us the ancient history of its existence. The dramatic setting of the landscape with canyons and wind-eroded hills is phenomenal. The trail follows the up and downhill. Firstly, we will reach Tangbe village with small pathways amongst whitewashed houses, barley, and fields of buckwheat, wheat, and apple orchards. Then, we will trek ahead to Chhusang and after crossing the river we will lead to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, creating a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We will head on to small ridges to reach Chele Village. Chile is a small beautiful settlement from where we can overlook the valley with its picturesque setting.

Today’s walk is more into undulating trails with a couple of steep climbs and descents crossing two passes; Taklam La Pass (3624m) and Dajori La Pass (735m). Despite 6 hour's walk, the fabulous canyons with their unusual color that opens out are remarkable. In this bizarre, the farming fields with rich red buckwheat and brilliant green and the south view offering a panorama of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tilicho Peak, and YakawaKang adds up to its magnificence.


The early elevated walk through the hill-cut trail in one of these awesome canyons is remarkable. We will observe the sky caves which date back more than 3000 years that were used as human settlements, burial chambers, and now lama hermit retreats. We will climb to Taklam La Pass through plateaus and narrow stretches and then, descend a little to the village of Samar. We will climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge then, descend steeply to a stream.


We will have our lunch at the mini settlement of Bhena which is now a jeep station but with spectacular scenic beauty. Then, we will climb up to the pass before dropping down to Syangboche which is remarkable for its unexpected views. On the way, we will relax along with the surrounding cool streams and juniper trees. Locals use the dried leaves of junipers as an aroma to persuade deities and start any prosperous work. We will also pass by a cave popularly known as Ramchung Cave. Syangboche is a small settlement immersed in the valley but has a superficial surrounding.

From Syangboche, we will climb gently to a small pass Yamada La of 3,800m with extraordinary views of mountains and deep valleys into the wind-eroded canyons. We will pass through a few teahouses, Chortens, and local villages which are influenced by the Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We will cross mountain passes and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley.


The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m) will be a little longer. Today’s walk will be effortless with few short climbs in between but beautiful scenery alongside would hardly allow us to realize the passing away of time and arrive at Ghami for lunch. There are endless colorful gullies to the north, east, and west which is outstanding. South is still dominated by the soaring peak of Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna. After lunch, we will explore Ghami, the ancient village with a time-honored monastery, Chortens, and Mani (prayer) walls. It is one of the tremendous villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the absolute village.

We will start our trek after breakfast with a delightful walk. This brief trek to Tsarang takes us into the ‘Land of Chortens”. This trail marks the history and legend of the Indian saint Padmasambhava (750-810 AD), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism who formed a union of Buddhism with the original Shamanistic religion of Tibet called Bon – whose influence upon Indian Buddhism makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating.


After walking half an hour from Ghami, we will see the longest ancient Mani wall of Mustang. The soaring red cliffs to the west tells us the legends of Padmasambhava are intriguing. After walking for four hours and crossing the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m, we will reach the fascinating big village of Tsarang which looks dramatic. The village is situated at the top of the Charang Chu Canyon with a great fortress and a red Gompa to the east of it. After having lunch, we will visit the ancient Monastery and the white palace of Tsarang which is their heritage. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to admire. Self-exploration around maze-like Charang is worth it.

Today, we will trek to one of the main attractions of this trip: Lo Manthang with majestic views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti peak. This was the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Finally, we will get to the plateau of Lo Manthang, ‘The Capital city and the Plain of Aspiration’ of Mustang. The mythical walled city of Lo, the kingdom with a single entrance is a welcome sight! The king, “Lo Gyelbu”, named Jigme Palbar Bista, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the walled city of Lo Manthang.


This city consists of around 150 households and residences for Lama Gurus. Dropping down into a canyon we will cross a river and ascend to the Lo La pass (3,950m). From the past, we will get our first look at the historic and beautiful village of Lo Manthang. We will trek via Lo-Gear, which is the oldest Gompa in Nepal and older than the Samye Gompa of Tibet. After an hour and a half walk from Tsarang, there is a fascinating solitary ancient Chorten in the middle of the road.


The fabulous scene of Lo Manthang, the valley of Chhosar, and Thinker from the 4000 m pass of Lo-La is impressive. And the view of varied historical ruined forts on the high hills is one of the highlights. After lunch, we will explore the legendary walled city of Lo. We will have the opportunity to visit the ancient temples and monasteries of the region and the periphery of the King’s impressive palace. We will also have the chance to guide horses on a lease and see the beautiful valley.

The capital city of Mustang, Lo Manthang consists of about 150 houses and has some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism Gompas in Nepal. The city itself is a perfectly fascinating place with four main ancient Monasteries which are splendid and a huge 14th-century palace imposing a 4-story building in the center of the city. After breakfast, our leader will organize a jeep for the Chhosar excursion.


We will explore the Nympho Cave monastery built into the side of a soaring cliff. Also, 2500 years old Jhong Sky Cave has more than 44 chambers and gives us the primitive settlement of humans. We will visit Namgyal Gompa which is situated on a hilltop and presents as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court.


Later, if we are not exhausted we can walk to Thinker summer palace or explore the extraordinary ancient monasteries inside the walled city itself which is exceptional. We can also visit the Tall Champa Lakhang “God house” the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, and the Entrance hall which is the major attraction of this town. We will have the opportunity to admire the large Buddha statue and intricate Mandalas painted on the walls.

Leaving behind the legendary village, we will depart through the solitary entrance to Lo Gear. Today, we will walk different west terrain which offers the most beautiful view despite a few steep downhill trails. We will explore the world’s oldest Tibetan monastery Ghar Gompa built around the 7th century by the signified monk Padmasambhava.


We will take a different trail that leads us to the world’s oldest monastery, Ghar Gompa. The Gompa is also well-known for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is accomplished. The glimpse of the landscape and the mountain in the south are fascinating. Also, lunch at a 7th-century monastery is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The walk to Drakmar is thrilling with different trails high above the canyons and eroded hills. Drakmar, a land of red cliffs is one of its kind where overnight is worth.

Today, we will get back to Ghiling for our overnight stay after a long walk of 5-6 hours. Our journey moves on through the semi-arid wilderness, passing numerous caves on the route, with Mani walls marking our passage as we head back toward the south. A climb takes us regularly upward at the day’s end to Ghiling, with abundant time left over to explore the village.


After reaching Ghiling, we will have our lunch and enjoy the day exploring the area. It will be dusty in the afternoon so, we will have a walk in the evening time. Ghiling is one of the enormous villages in the region and is home to an awe-inspiring 15th-century monastery. The village sits at the foot of a rocky mountain, surrounded by agricultural fields.

Today's hike presents perfect views of the Himalayas as we trek downhill over a rolling landscape of the community and picturesque scenery, the entire region passing its Tibetan influences and culture. We will trace back our trail towards the south. We will start early today to visit the legendary Chungsi Cave


The monastery is one of the most attractive among all cave monasteries of Mustang where Saint Padmasambhava meditated around the 7th century with a vision to bring Buddhism to Tibet. But be prepared for all the damp ascent. We have lunch in the pretty village of Samar famous for its popular grove. Then, we will descend to the Chhusang with a great view of Nilgiri and a wide stretch of Kali Gandaki. Chhusang is one more pretty old village with an apple orchard, there are too many Nepali and Tibetan songs interpreting the beauty of Chhusang.

The trail from Chhusang is all the way up that we are climbing over 1,100m and through the very small trackway inside the bushes. We will have a magnificent view of Himalaya Parbat dominated by Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m).


The scenery makes up for the hard slog, and we’ll have panoramic views from the pass of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Tukuche peaks. Muktinath is a holy temple for Hindus where so many Nepali and Indian pilgrimages come to show their devotion to Hindu Gods and above that, the temple shows the cooperation between Hinduism and Buddhism.

Today we will say goodbye to Upper Mustang and enter the lower regions at Jomson. The trail is all the way flat down through the very beautiful landscape with an amazing view of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m).


We will trek most of the way through the bank of the Kaligandaki River, we will walk through windy air but will be a relaxing walk. We will treat ourselves to delicious apples and see the traditional back-loom weaving techniques being trained by the local women. After we’ve checked into our accommodation we’ll be able to relax, put our feet up, and look at our beautiful journey in wonder.

The early morning flight to Pokhara from Jomsom offers eye-catching Himalayan panoramas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. In the afternoon, we will fly back to Kathmandu which takes about 30 minutes.


On arrival at Kathmandu, you will be transferred to the hotel and you can take a good rest. Also, you can feel free to explore and enjoy. We will celebrate the successful completion of our trekking with a pleasant farewell dinner.

It’s time to say farewell to Nepal. After wishing you a goodbye, our representative from Bold Himalaya will assist you to Tribhuwan International Airport for your next destination.


If you have any intention of extending your stay in Nepal for an adventurous experience like Safari, Rafting, Biking Tours, Peak climbing, and trekking in other regions, then we would be more than happy to be of help. Thank you for choosing Upper Mustang Trekking in Nepal with Bold Himalaya. Take care and goodbye from Bold Himalaya.

Included & Excluded Items in the Trip Package

Included

  • All airport pick up and departure and all ground transportation during trips. 

  • All transportation Domestic Flight according to itinerary Pokhara- Jomsom- Pokhara Domestic Flight 2 way flight ticket

  • Hotel in Kathmandu, Pokhara three star category in twin sharing bed with breakfast basis

  • Standard Guesthouse/ Trekking Lodge on the Upper Mustang trekking route
  • All Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in the trekking with tea & coffee

  • Some seasonal fruit & nuts

  • Emergency first-aid medicine items
  • Necessary staff, guide & porters including all their (Food Accommodation, Salary, and Insurance) 
  • One special cultural show and farewell dinner program
  • Our government tax & official expenses 
  • Special restricted area permit, Annapurna Conservation Area entrance fee, TIMS 
  • Sleeping Bag, Down Jacket (If you Needed Return after Trekking)

  • Duffle Bag, T-shirt, and Trip certificate 

  • Our service and government taxes

Excluded

  • Bar Bills, Laundry Bills

  • Lunch and Dinner in Pokhara 

  • Tips for Guide

Upper Mustang Trek/Tour Information


Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty

The Upper Mustang Trek is of moderate to challenging difficulty, encompassing high altitudes, varied terrain, and remote locations. The trek involves significant altitude gain reaching up to 3,950 meters (12,960 feet) at Lo La Pass, demanding proper acclimatization and gradual ascent. Terrain ranges from well-defined paths to rocky trails, with steep ascents and descents. Trekkers should expect 4 to 8 hours of trekking per day.

Weather conditions can be unpredictable, especially at higher altitudes, with cold temperatures and potential snowfall. Basic facilities and lodging are available in the remote region. While a good level of physical fitness and some trekking experience is recommended, guided treks offer access to trekkers of varying skill levels. Proper preparation and guidance ensure a rewarding experience in this unique and captivating region.
Check the video youtube videos of Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek Preparation


Physical Fitness:

Cardiovascular Endurance:
To increase your cardiovascular fitness, take part in exercises like jogging, cycling, and stair climbing. You may increase your stamina for long treks by doing these workouts.

Strength training:
Exercises that target the main muscle groups, especially those in your legs and core, should be the focus of your strength training. Your muscles will become more prepared for the rigors of trekking if you perform squats, lunges, step-ups, and core exercises like planks.

Stretching and Flexibility:
To improve flexibility and prevent muscle tightness or injuries throughout the walk, incorporate frequent stretching or yoga sessions.
Gradual Ascent:
Plan your trekking itinerary to include gradual altitude gains. This allows your body to acclimatize slowly, reducing the risk of altitude sickness.

Rest Days:
Include rest days in your itinerary to acclimatize and give your body time to adjust to higher altitudes.

Mental Preparation:

Positive Mindset:
Cultivate a positive attitude and maintain mental resilience. Treks can be challenging, but a positive mindset can make a significant difference in your experience.

Adaptability:
Prepare mentally to adapt to changing weather conditions, potential altitude discomfort, and unfamiliar environments.

Cultural Awareness:

Research:
Learn about local customs, etiquette, and cultural practices. Understanding and respecting the local culture enriches your experience and interactions.

Nutrition and Hydration:

Balanced Diet:
Maintain a balanced diet leading up to the trek. Consume a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body.

Hydration:
Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly. Carry a refillable water bottle to minimize single-use plastic waste.


Medical Check-up:

Health Assessment:
Consult a healthcare professional for a thorough medical check-up. Discuss any pre-existing health conditions, medications, and vaccinations relevant to the trek.


Best Time to do Upper Mustang Trek 

The best times to do Upper Mustang are generally Spring and Autumn but with some compromises, you can also do this trek in winter and autumn.


Spring (March to May)

During the spring months, the weather in Upper Mustang is relatively mild, and the trekking trails come alive with vibrant wildflowers in full bloom. The temperatures range from 10 to 15 degrees, with clear skies and excellent visibility, making it ideal for capturing stunning photographs of breathtaking landscapes. The local villages are bustling with activity, and you'll have the chance to witness the local communities preparing for various cultural festivals.

Autumn (September to November):

Autumn is another fantastic time to embark on the Upper Mustang Trek. The weather remains stable, with clear skies and pleasant daytime temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees. The monsoon rains have subsided by this time, ensuring that the trails are dry and the terrain is more stable. The autumn months also offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, making it a photographer's paradise. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to witness local festivals and cultural celebrations that often take place during this season.

While the spring and autumn seasons are widely considered the best times for the Upper Mustang Trek, it's worth noting that both winter and summer also offer unique opportunities for those seeking a different trekking experience.

Winter (December to February):

For daring explorers who are ready for cooler weather and possible snowfall, winter can be an enthralling season to explore Upper Mustang. With snow-covered landscapes and fewer hikers on the trails, the area becomes a winter wonderland. The daytime temperatures range from 5 to 10 degrees. The sky is clear, allowing for breathtaking vistas of the snow-covered peaks against the brilliant blue background. To ensure safety and comfort, it's crucial to have the appropriate winter gear and to meticulously prepare for the walk.

Summer (June to August):

Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow zone of Nepal so it is no problem if you would want to trek this trail in Summer. But there might occur occasional rainfall. Also, the advantage of trekking in summer is the fewer crowds, allowing for a more tranquil and intimate experience. Moreover, due to the geographical location of this place, rainfall is also scarce.


Tiji Festival Upper Mustang

The Tiji Festival is the celebration, in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal typically occurring in May each year. The festival dates vary annually so if you're keen on experiencing it plan your Upper Mustang Trek during this time. It commemorates the triumph of truth and righteousness over evil. Legend has it that a demon threatened the area. Dorje Jonos son called upon the gods to vanquish the demons and safeguard the land. As a result people rejoice with dances and chant mantras during this festive occasion. Embrace the opportunity to learn about the customs and practices of people, with roots.

 

Yartung Festival

Yartung is a known festival observed in Mustang, Nepal. It lasts for three days every August. The first day is dedicated to the Kings activities, the day, to the monks and the third day for the local community to participate in events. While horse racing is a highlight of this festival locals also enjoy singing, dancing and socializing. If you plan to trek in Upper Mustang during this period be sure to confirm the festival dates when making your arrangements.


Loshar (Tibetan New Year)

In the Mustang region the locals observe two Losar festivals, known as Chhegu Emma and Chhegu Semma based on the lunar calendar. Both Lhochhar festivals last for three days. The festivities involve visiting family members, socializing, hosting parties and dancing together as the highlights of these celebrations. For those, in exploring we can plan a trip, to Mustang during these occasions.

 

Reason to do Upper Mustang Trek

Most unique, colorful landscape in the lap of lofty Himalayas

Hundreds of year-old scared monasteries and caves

The Unique culture and tradition of local people

Celebrating auspicious traditional festivals such as Tiji, Yartung, and Horse racing

Unique settlement of local people this will not seem unlike any other

There are opportunities to see endangered wildlife

Opportunity to see old palaces & ruins


Tips for Successful Upper Mustang Trek 

Trek is in the best season Stay updated with the weather 

Avoid smoke and alcohol while ascending

Follow local rules while entering caves and monasteries   

Stay hydrated and warm

Trek slowly & climb high, sleep low

Respect local culture and customs

Don't pack overload Eat high-energy, hygienic, and fresh food

leave no trace

Trek with the local guide and porter


Major places in Upper Mustang


Kagbeni

Kagbeni is the oldest village in The Himalayas, located in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River. It lies on the path from Jomsom to the royal capital of Lo Manthang, near the intersection with the trail to Muktinath. More than 500 years old, Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Monastery, beautiful settlements, and landscapes are the major attraction in Kagbeni.

Chungsi cave

Ranching Chungsi Cave is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage situated on the way to Upper Mustang, in between Summer and Syanboche villages. It is well-known that Guru Rinpoche meditated in this cave around the 8th century. It is not a human-made cave, it is natural in between thousands of human-made sky caves in Mustang. Numerous naturally formed deities seem just like the self-arisen on the walls of the cave. The stone of the cave was also used to make medicine for back pain. It is a very important monastery and the highlight of the trek.

Red Cliff at Dhakmar

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche fought with monsters among the Mustang's snow-capped mountain, desert canyons, and grassland. Once Guru Rinpoche slaughtered the demon, it is said he dispersed the demon’s body parts across the Mustang Valley. Consequently, its blood formed the towering red cliffs at Dhakmar. It is also the major attraction of the trek.

Ghar Gumba

The world’s oldest Tibetan monastery Ghar Gumba was built around the 7th century by the signified monk Padmasambhava. The Gumba is also well-known for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Ghar Gumba, their wish is accomplished.

Lo Mangthang

The major attractions to explore in the walled city of Mustang is the Royal Palace of Lo Mangthang and the old monasteries built in the early 15th century. It is an isolated Tibetan settlement and is still home to ancient monasteries, structures, and artifacts. Ngonga Chode, Dragkar- Thegchen Ling Monastery, Thupchen Gompa, and Jampa Gompa, are the four main monasteries inside the former Kingdom of Lo. Other famous sights in Lo Manthang include the royal palace, Choprang gompa (or “new gompa” as it is known locally), and the Monastic Museum which is part of the Tsechen Scheduling Monastic School established in the early 1990s to train young monks from the area.

Chhoser

We will visit the caves and monasteries of Chhoser Village. We can also visit the 2500 years old Jhong Cave which holds great historical importance. It has five stories with more than 40 separate rooms from where we can see the impressive great cliffs and the stunning landscape of Chhoser Valley. Besides that, we can also visit monasteries and a village called Gherpu.

Tsarang

Tsarang has many Chortens, Buddhist temples, and an old fort (dzong). Some buildings are renovated, but others are almost ruined. The inner walls of the major temples are painted with murals portraying the deities of the Medicine Buddha mandala. The surrounding landscape full of cliffs and rocks offers breathtaking scenery. A beautiful Gompa rises above the city, and there are interesting hardened rocks nearby. The surrounding countryside is full of folds, rock formations, and cliffs. It offers hundreds of caves built for religious and other reasons. The vast majority of them are not accessible and have never been explored.

Luri Gumba

Luri Gumba is the most recent and lower monastery. Luri consists of caves, some still accessible and others no longer due to erosion dating back to the mid-14th century.

Muktinath

A Muktinath temple is a heavenly place for Hindus and Buddhists. Muktinath is one of the sacred places among the four “Dhams” of Hindus situated in the mountain area. It is one of the world’s highest temples (altitude 3800m). The adventure goes through many archaeological locales and shrines. The 108 water taps and the continuous glowing fire are another fascinating of this temple.


Available Facilities during the Upper Mustang Trek

Drinking Water Facility in Upper Mustang Trek

In trekking, it is necessary to drink 3 to 4 liters of pure drinking water daily according to your body structure, walking, and physical exercise. In Upper Mustang Trek there are many water tabs but all are not drinkable you can make them purified by using LifeStraw, water purification tablets, or a filter. You can get to buy mineral water too but that makes plastic pollution instead of that you can buy boiled water and refill it from the tea house which takes a small amount of charge.

Mobile Network Internet and Electricity in Upper Mustang Trek

All the teahouse trekking lodge has good access to the internet and Wi-Fi other than this most of the trekking routes work mobile network NTC & NCELL. All the tea houses have easy access to electricity where you can easily charge your electric device in Upper Mustang Trek.

ATM and Money Exchange In Upper Mustang

Jomsom, Kagbeni, and Muktinath have some ATMs and some banks. but no authorized money exchange over there so we suggest to all our trekkers to carry enough money from Kathmandu or Pokhara where you can easily get authorized money exchange, many ATMs, and banks.

Money Exchange

You can convert currencies at local banks and reputable currency exchange outlets in Kathmandu and, throughout Thamel. Legitimate currency exchange centers prominently display exchange rates. Please be aware that only INR denominations of 100 and 2,000 are accepted as tender, in Nepal. 


Free Airport transfers

Navigating through a country you've never visited can be quite challenging. That's why we offer airport transfer services, for guests who have booked our trek package. Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu you'll easily spot our representative holding a sign with your name and our company name. They will warmly greet you. Accompany you to your hotel in a vehicle. This service is extended to all our clients to ensure they feel welcomed and supported in an environment without any worries, about getting 


Hot Shower Accessibility in Upper Mustang Trek

All the tea houses provide good hot shower facilities for all seasons 

Feel free to contact me for any Inquiries or Book 

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Upper Mustang Trek Guide

We take great satisfaction in having a top-notch group of porters and guides that have been hand-picked to give you an unforgettable Upper Mustang Trek experience. Our tour guides have a wealth of expertise and are quite informed about the geography, history, and culture of the area. 

These regional authorities enrich your journey with a wealth of knowledge. They have traveled the routes many times, so they are confident in their ability to negotiate even the trickiest paths. Our guides encourage meaningful connections with both locals and other trekkers because they are fluent in English and frequently other languages.
Your journey will be much more rewarding thanks to their insights into the local traditions and customs. Our guides make sure you are secure and have fun the entire way by being flexible and making thoughtful plans.

In addition to our knowledgeable guides, our team of porters plays a pivotal role in ensuring your trek is as comfortable and seamless as possible. Our porters are not just load bearers; they are an essential part of our trekking community. Ethical treatment is a priority, as we provide them with appropriate clothing and gear, along with fair wages, respecting their contribution and well-being. These capable porters expertly carry your heavy backpack, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in the scenic beauty and cultural wonders of the Upper Mustang region.


Guides per group size

The number of guides required for the Upper Mustang Trek varies with group size. For small groups of 1-6 trekkers, one experienced guide is usually sufficient. Medium groups of 6-10 might have an assistant guide to ensure personalized support. Larger groups of 9 or more benefit from multiple guides for safety and attention. Specialized guides can enhance specific interests, and porters support with luggage. Trekkers' safety and enjoyment guide the decision on the number of guides and support staff, ensuring a successful trekking experience.


Tipping in Nepal

Guides:

Tipping your guide is a gesture of appreciation for their expertise, support, and insights throughout the trek. The amount you tip can vary based on factors like group size, trek duration, level of service, and your satisfaction with their performance. As a general guideline, consider tipping around 10 to 15% of the trip cost for your guide. This range can be adjusted based on your overall experience and budget.

Porters:

Porters play a crucial role in lightening your load and contributing to the success of your trek. Tipping porters is equally important to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. The amount you tip can depend on similar factors such as trek duration, group size, and service quality. For porters, a typical tipping range is around 5 to 10% of the total trip cost. However, if you are in a larger group, you may consider tipping more generously to distribute the gratitude to all porters who have supported your trek.


Weight Limits for flight and Porter for Upper Mustang Trekking

10 kg baggage and 5 kg of hand-carry are allowed the fly to Jomsom. Porter will carry a 20kg backpack for 2 guests. If you have more than 10 kg of baggage please let us know when booking the trip


Passport and Visa

Foreigners except Indians need a visa to visit Nepal. International citizens can get a visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport with requirements including a passport with at least six months of validity and a passport sized photo. For details, on visa fees visit the Nepal immigration website. You will also receive information on few countries who are not allowed a VISA on arrival in Nepal.



Upper Mustang Trek Permit

As the Upper Mustang region is restricted, a special trekking permit is required. Our team will handle the paperwork and coordination to ensure you have the necessary permit to enter this remarkable area.


Annapurna Conservation Area Permit

The trek passes through the Annapurna Conservation Area. We will procure the ACAP permit on your behalf, allowing you to contribute to the region's conservation efforts.


TIMS Card

The Trekker's Information Management System card is essential for trekking in Nepal. We'll facilitate the application process, ensuring you're registered and ready for your adventure.


Upper Mustang Trek Travel Insurance

The level of challenge, for this journey is considered moderate. There are risks associated with trekking at altitudes, such as the possibility of altitude sickness and unforeseen circumstances. Therefore having travel insurance is a requirement.


Every trekker is required to submit a copy of their travel insurance policy to Discovery World Trekking. The policy should include coverage for emergencies and repatriation. Which includes expenses for helicopter rescue and evacuation at the points of the trek. Based on feedback, from our clients, we can suggest insurance companies that have been recommended. However please note that we do not directly sell travel insurance.

 

Upper Mustang Trek Packing List

When preparing for the Upper Mustang Trek, having a well-thought-out packing list is essential to ensure your comfort, safety, and enjoyment throughout the journey. Here's a comprehensive packing list to help you prepare for this remarkable adventure:

Clothing:

Moisture-wicking base layers (long-sleeve shirts, leggings)

Insulating layers (fleece or down jacket)

Waterproof and windproof jacket

Waterproof and windproof pants

Warm hat and gloves

Sun hat with neck protection

Quick-drying hiking pants

Hiking socks (wool or synthetic)

Underwear

Footwear and Accessories:

Sturdy trekking boots (broken-in and waterproof)

Trekking sandals or comfortable shoes for evenings

Gaiters (to keep debris out of your boots)

Sunglasses with UV protection

Buff or scarf (for sun protection and warmth)

Headlamp with extra batteries

Personal medications

Insect repellent

Sunscreen and lip balm with high SPF

Gear and Equipment:

Sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures

Daypack for carrying essentials during the day

Duffel bag or backpack for porters (check weight restrictions)

Trekking poles for stability and reducing impact on joints

Water purification tablets or filters

Reusable water bottle or hydration system

Camera or binoculars (optional)

Portable power bank for charging devices

Multi-purpose pocketknife or tool

Money belt or pouch for important documents and valuables

Miscellaneous:

Guidebook or map of the Upper Mustang region

Entertainment (book, playing cards, etc.)

Snacks (energy bars, trail mix, etc.)

Trash bags for carrying out your waste


Upper Mustang trek cost

The Upper Mustang Trek Package will cost you 1450 USD. The list of services included and excluded in this trip package are listed in the included/exclude section of this page so check it out for more comprehensive information. Generally, all the essential facilities are included in this package such as food transportation and accommodation.



Upper Mustang Trek solo

We organize individual and group hiking and climbing expeditions, across Nepal. Opting for a journey may come with a cost so we suggest booking a private trip with at least two trekkers.

 

Upper Mustang Trek Booking

To confirm your trip booking we ask for a part of the payment of the trip cost upfront. You have the option to settle the booking fees through bank transfer Western Union or online, via our website. 


Following that please send us the required documents via email. A copy of your passport, passport photographs, travel insurance policy well as details of your arrival and departure flights. The remaining amount for the trek can be paid upon your arrival, in Nepal using cash, bank transfer or credit card.

Accommodation

You'll stay in four-star hotels and lodges while you're in Pokhara and Kathmandu. While the majority of your lodging along the route will be teahouses, which serve as guesthouses and offer lodging, meals, and a chance to meet other trekkers. 

Shared rooms in teahouses are available, along with basic comforts like pillows and blankets, and some may have private rooms with toilets just next door. By providing common areas for dining and socializing, these businesses turn into your home away from home along the path. As you converse with your hosts and fellow trekkers, embrace the cultural experience. 

Keep in mind that electricity availability varies, and carrying essentials like a headlamp and lock is recommended. Teahouse accommodation is more than a place to rest; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the trekking culture and share stories with kindred spirits.

About Meal

Teahouses are the primary form of accommodation on the Upper Mustang Trek. They offer meals as part of their service to trekkers.
Teahouses provide a mix of traditional Nepali dishes and more familiar Western options. This allows you to experience local flavors while also enjoying comfort foods.

Meals offered:
Breakfast: In a traditional teahouse breakfast, items including eggs (fried, boiled, or scrambled), porridge, muesli, local bread (chapati), and tea or coffee are offered. It's a filling breakfast before your day's hike.

Lunch and Dinner: The menu widens to include dal bhat, a typical Nepali dish of rice and lentil stew, as well as soups, curries, noodles (fried or in soup), and occasionally pizza or pasta. The energy you need for your hiking activities is provided by these meals.

Upper Mustang Trek is moderate grade trekking of Himalayan rain shadow Nepal, which all the physically fit trekkers can do easily. The trekking route is not steep ups nor steep downs, no trekking experience is required however you need to walk 4 to 6 hours per day as your itinerary. It is suitable for all ages of trekkers including old age and kids.

Upper Mustang lies in Annapurna Himalaya rain shadow which is a restricted area for trekking in Nepal because it has a unique mode of settlement with numerous old monasteries, globally thread flora and fauna, fragile environments, many special management zones, unique culture and heritage, Upper Mustang also called the forbidden kingdom of Lo and attached border with Tibet

Upper Mustang was known as the forbidden kingdom of Lo located across the Annapurna mountain range. It is surrounded by the high Himalayas which is entirely different from other mountain parts of Nepal. It is famous for its ancient old monasteries, religious sites and places, colorful hills, and cultivated diverse landscape The different shapes, and colors in the same hills made it more stunning for Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang lies across the Annapurna Himalaya range connected with the Tibet border. It is part of the high Himalayas so trekkers rarely visited in the winter season. The best time to visit Upper Mustang is from Last of the February to first of the November because the chances of snow and rain at that time are very low. At this time weather will be clear and have good visibility so travelers can catch the stunning views. 

For foreigners, it cost $500 for the ten days to enter Upper Mustang and for more than 10 days, you have to pay an additional $50 per day.  Only the authorized agency can apply for an Upper Mustang Trekking permit. 

Yes, you can drive to Upper Mustang but we suggest going by four-wheel jeep or motorbike because there are bumpy roads only. The distance between Jomsom to Lo Manthnag is 59km / 37.

The stunning landscape of the Himalayan desert, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalaya range, unique culture, and festival, numerous ancient old monasteries and caves are the famous things of upper mustang. The white mountains. set against the backdrop of Himalayas deserts, various colors, and shapes seen on the same mountains, gorges, and places are the major tourist attractions of Upper Mustang

To get to the Upper Mustang travelers have to take a flight from Pokhara or drive from Pokhara or Kathmandu. The bus goes up to Muktinath only after that do you have to take a jeep for Upper Mustang where as Jomsom, Kagbeni, and Muktinath lie inside lower Mustang. The roads to Upper Mustang are rough( not blacked topped) so the four-wheel vehicles or motorbikes can drive easily. Trekking to Upper Mustang from Jomsom via the ancient tread route is popular trekking activity in Nepal. 

10 days are standard trekking days of the upper mustang trek straight go and back where trekking starts and ends at Jomson although there are other ways to get back via Tange, Tetang, and Luri Gumba which takes 13 days to each to Jomsom 

Upper Mustang Trek's maximum altitude is 4280m/14041ft where trekking starts from Jomsom 2700m so to climb 1580m within 6 days no need for acclimatization however walking slowly, drinking enough water, eating high calories diet, and avoiding smoking alcohol are recommended to escape high altitude sickness. 

Yes, Upper Mustang Trek is fully worth it. Even if you have been trekking in other routes of Nepal this trekking will be a completely new experience for you, the landscape of the Himalayas desert in the lap of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalaya range, amazing old monastery, caves, culture, colorful cliffs makes you one of the great experience of your life. 

Jomsom airport is located on the bank of Kali Gandaki River during the daytime the winds move rapidly upwards from the deep gorge of Kaligandaki river. Morning time there are fewer winds so they land and take off the plane but in the afternoon winds speed rapidly high so the small plane cannot land against the winds.